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Writing

Paraphrasing

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is the use of ideas or opinions of another author in your writing to support your arguments. This must be written in your own words, but still have the same meaning.  You need to be extremely carefully not to use a similar sentence structure or the same vocabulary that the original author uses. It is not a quotation (see next blog ‘How to use quotations in writing,’ February 2019).

Why do we use it? Why is it important?

Cause & Effect Part 2 – Structure

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In this blog post, you will learn about the structure of a Cause and Effect Essay.

The Cause and Effect Essay has three main parts: introduction, body and conclusion. The body is usually two paragraphs and may contain causes and effects, causes and solutions, or effects and solutions.

Introduction

Background Information: Write some general information about the topic to set the context of your essay. 

Avoid overgeneralisations, like “As everyone knows…” and “It cannot be denied…”. 

Cause and Effect Part 1 – Grammar

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This blog post will explore the grammar of cause and effect. You will learn about how to link different grammatical structures together, and see examples of these structures.

Noun Phrase to Noun Phrase

A noun phrase (NP) includes a noun (a person, place, or thing) and modifiers (e.g. adjectives). It is not a complete sentence. Examples of NPs include “heavy rain”, “eating unhealthy food” and “cigarette smoke”.

Technology tips – writing

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There are many ways you can use your mobile phone, tablet and laptop to help you improve your English.

Spelling

Are you unsure about your spelling? Dictation programs or apps will let you talk to your device and it will type what you say. This can be a good way to check that you are spelling words correctly. It will also help you check if you are pronouncing words correctly. 

The good news is the iPhone already comes with an app that does this - notes-app-icon Notes.

Narrative writing, part 2 – description

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Now you know the basic structure of a narrative, you can practice making your story more interesting. One way to do this is description. Think about how the people in the story feel. What can they see, hear, smell and taste?

The simplest way to make your writing more descriptive is to use adjectives and adverbs.  These “describing words” tell us more information about an object, person or place (adjectives), or an action (adverbs).

Narrative writing, part 1 – structure

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What is a narrative?

A narrative is “a story that is told or written” (learnersdictionary.com). In level 3, you will write a story using pictures to guide you. This blog post is about how to improve your narrative writing.

Structure

All stories follow a similar pattern. They have a beginning, middle and end. Most stories begin by introducing the people and the context (place and time). Look at the first picture, and answer the questions:

Listen to TED talks

screenshot of TED.com homepage

Need to improve your listening skills? TED.com is a fantastic free resource full of talks about interesting ideas from all fields around the world. Use this handout to help you get the most out of your listening practice. It will guide you to:

  • predict the content
  • listen for linking words
  • note take
  • write a summary
  • practise academic vocabulary

Comment below if you want to recommend a talk! 

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Sentence structure: focus on verbs

academic english common verbs

Verbs! What would we do without them?

Nothing much actually... We need them to explain almost everything! We know that they need to go in a sentence and that they have to agree with the subject of a clause in English. We can even gets lists of the most commonly used ones like you can see above and aim to use these more often. But what else is important to know about using verbs in academic English? 

Cohesion (Part 2): Linking words

mix-of-words

Now that you've finished reading Cohesion (Part 1) a hundred times, it's time to learn more! In this post we deal with the words that connect our words, sentences, and ideas together. These have many names depending on the book or person you're dealing with, so don't worry too much about what to call them; just make sure you understand how to use the different types. Today, we'll call them all 'linking words' then break them into other categories. 

Cohesion (Part 1): Improve your writing and speaking

canoe-in-lake-surrounded-by-mountains

What is really important in both spoken and written English, and is 25% of your writing mark at REW? The answer is: Organisation and Cohesion!

What does that mean?

Well, basically it means that your words and ideas 'flow' together nicely and are easy to follow. Imagine going down a nice river where there's lots of water... without water (cohesive devices), it would be terrible! But with water, it feels smooth and consistent. This is how your writing and speaking feels to someone when you have cohesion. 

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